25 de julio de 2008 / 21:47 / en 9 años

Argentine stocks rise in thin trade, bonds lower

BUENOS AIRES, July 25 (Reuters) - Argentine stocks rose on Friday led by index heavyweight Tenaris (TENA.BA) and other energy-related stocks, while bonds fell on profit-taking in cautious trade, traders said.

The MerVal benchmark stock index .MERV closed up 0.43 percent at 1,910.23 points, trimming its losses in July to 9.38 percent.

Tenaris, the world’s top producer of seamless steel tubes for the energy industry, saw its stock gain 1.89 percent to finish the session at 91.7 pesos per share.

“The MerVal bounced back along with Tenaris ... and the utility-related stocks, especially those linked to electricity and natural gas due to the current rumors,” said Ruben Pascuali, a trader at the Mayoral brokerage, referring to media reports that the government is considering raising tariffs.

The government has made no comment on the reports.

Shares in power distributor Edenor EDN.BA rose 0.49 percent to 2.06 pesos per share, while generator firm Pampa Holding (PAM.BA) gained 1.74 percent to 1.75 pesos.

Trade volume on the MerVal remained a thin $16 million. Of active shares, 37 advanced, 49 retreated and 16 were unchanged.

BONDS, PESO

Argentine bonds <AR/BONOS> fell on profit-taking in choppy trade marked by investor caution over the political climate, traders said.

Locally traded debt closed down by an average of 1.0 percent in over-the-counter trade, led by the dollar-denominated Bonar 2017 bond, which fell 2.0 percent.

On the foreign exchange market, the peso held steady without significant intervention by the central bank, which routinely buys dollars to stop the peso firming, traders said.

In formal interbank trade, where the central bank intervenes, the peso ARS=RASL slipped by 0.08 percent to 3.0175/3.02 per dollar.

In informal trade between foreign-exchange houses, as measured by Reuters, the peso ARSB= it weakened by the same margin to 3.0675/3.07 per dollar. (Editing by Diane Craft; Reporting by Jorge Otaola and Walter Bianchi; Writing by Helen Popper)

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